Eric Wagner | Head Coach | Men’s Soccer | Swarthmore College

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

  • Work rate – successful student-athletes at Swarthmore are very hard-working and diligent in training and matches.
  • Attitude – humble, team-oriented players who are willing to learn, develop, and adjust to the needs and demands of high-level college soccer.
  • Technical ability – comfort on the ball, ability to pass and serve quality balls, and sound all-around technique offensively and defensively.
  • Soccer IQ (Tactical understanding) – ability to play quickly, anticipate the game, and work off the ball. Makes decisions that make others around him better.
  • Athleticism – speed, strength, agility, quickness, endurance, durability. Student-athletes with healthy and responsible life-styles are most successful at Swarthmore.
  • Character – when you are part of our program, you are part of a family. Everyone looks after one another, and everyone wants the whole program to succeed, on and off the field. We want people who we are proud to have represent Swarthmore, and who are proud to do so.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

Although we knew he wanted to be at Swarthmore, as he had attended our camp and then applied Early Decision, we considered this player to be a solid role player who might be able to play by his junior or senior year. After seeing him play several times, we did not consider him an impact player, nor did we expect him to be our starting goalkeeper when he arrived – if ever. However, due to injury, he was thrown into the starting role just six matches into his freshman year with us. Not only did he post a top-ten single-season goals against average that year, he also tied the all-time single-season shutout mark for the College, led the team to our first conference championship, and to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (3rd round). By his senior year, he had won another conference title, been to the NCAA tournament two more times, set the all-time career shutout record, and ranks first in program history in career goals against average. He was also a captain, All-Conference, and Academic All-America. FAR Exceeded our expectations of him.